Six Windows 7 nightmares (and how to fix them)

Are Windows problems keeping you up at night? Take these six cures and relax.

By Lincoln Spector, PC World |  Windows, Windows 7

Speaking of updating drivers, you should make sure that all of them are current. SlimWare Utilities' free SlimDrivers makes this chore remarkably easy, as it scans Windows and lists which drivers need to be updated. If you register (that's free, too), it will find the drivers and run the update for you. It even offers to create a restore point before each update. Don't update all of your drivers at once, however; if you do, and one of them makes things worse, you'll have a tough time figuring out which one.

Frequent BSoDs can also be a sign of hardware problems, especially bad RAM. Although Windows 7 has its own memory-diagnostics program, I prefer the free Memtest86+, which you have to boot separately. You can download the program either as an .iso file--from which you can create a bootable CD--or as an .exe file that will install the program and its bootable operating system onto a flash drive.

4. No One Has the PC's Administrator Password

If the wrong person leaves your company in a huff, one or more PCs could be left stranded. With no one in the company knowing the password to an administrator-level account, you can't install software, change important settings, or possibly access encrypted data.

Fortunately, you can remove the password, letting you log on to that account. You do that with the Offline NT Password & Registry Editor, a bootable, text-based free program that you download as an .iso file. Double-click that file, and Windows 7 will start the process of burning it to a CD.

Boot the CD and follow these instructions. I've put the on-screen prompts in italics. After you type your answer, press Enter.

boot: Just press Enter.

Select: [1]: Above the prompt you'll see a list of hard-drive partitions. Select the right one by typing that number.

What is the path to the registry directory?...: The default is probably correct. Just press Enter.

[1]: 1

What to do? [1] ->: 1

or simply enter the username...: Type the name of the administrator account. If you're not sure what it is, all of the account names are listed above the prompt.

Select: [q] >: 1

Select: ! - quit...: !

What to do [1]: q

About to write file(s) back...: y

New run? [n]: n

# Remove the CD and reboot.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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